Fast Five Has License To Print Money

Along with better than expected reviews, “Fast Five” has delivered much better than expected box-office and given Universal Pictures a much needed booster shot in the arm.

Indeed, ‘Five’ has broken records with the biggest opening for this year, the biggest opening for April, and the biggest opening for a Universal Pictures release in the United States. It snatched many similar titles as well in the U.K. and Australia.

In the U.S., the film took in $83.6 million, easily ahead of the previous film’s then record opening of $71 million. Opening last week overseas, “Fast Five” scored a £5.33m opening weekend in the UK and this was despite opening on the hottest Easter weekend their in 62 years.

In Australia the film has taken in $14.5 million in its first week, ahead of “Thor” with $9.1 million (though that film opened a day later than ‘Five’). In fact, despite having only opened in a few key international territories, ‘Five’ has raked in $81.4 million overseas thus far.

The question now is what will the burn-off rate be. 2009’s “Fast and Furious” opened with $70.9 million States-side, but dropped quickly to finish with a total gross at $155 million domestically. Better reviews indicate this will likely have more longevity, and a worldwide gross that will probably climb towards (but fall short) of the half billion dollar mark.

If there’s one lasting effect of this, outside of the ‘Fast’ franchise continuing for several more sequels, it’s that the last weekend of April looks to have become the unofficial start of the Summer movie going season in the United States.